It was a time when there wasn’t much interaction with humans.
Often guests came from the peninsula to the southeast of the sacred mountain where he resided or from Jianghu to the northwest.
There were numerous warriors and martial artists who said that they wanted to cultivate.
The funny thing was everyone was honest about their desires.
They aimed for the core, which contained his spiritual energy.
It was a repetitive thing that happened since the day he was born on earth.
He just wanted to gather spiritual energy and climb up the ladder as years passed, but he couldn’t figure out just why people were aiming for him.
There were times when he was angry since all he wanted to do is avoid unnecessary conflict.
‘It isn’t because I’m afraid of them.’
He just didn’t want to see blood.
As the years went by, he accumulated enough spiritual energy to ascend, and miraculously he gained the ability to transform into anything he wanted.
‘This is amazing.’
The ability was proof that he had accumulated enough energy.
As the years passed, a new tiger with overflowing spiritual energy was born among the white tigers of the mountain.
The birth of Feng Bo, the White Tiger, who would succeed him.
It also meant that he was getting closer to ascension.
He met the young white tiger before he ascended and learned a lot.
‘This is more fun than I thought.’
Ordinary animals were afraid of him, a spirit beast, and among humans, he was surrounded by those who wanted his core, yet because of his strength, no one came close.
But there was one problem.
Because of the new guy, he was exposed to humans more than when he was alone.
Lacking spiritual energy and experience, that one was overly active, and even when humans appeared, it roamed around without hesitation, creating messes.
‘Act a little more modest.’
No matter how many times he warned it, the newborn tiger was reckless.
It looked like the new one was four months old, so he had no choice but to protect it until he ascended.
Then one day, the young one wasn’t seen anywhere.
‘Did something happen?’
With an ominous thought, he ran across the mountain to find him.
After wandering around for a while, he saw the new one in the northern part of the mountain, surrounded by a group of humans.
‘You make me see blood even in the end. You humans.’
Humans are always greedy when it came to their nature.
Dealing with ordinary humans wasn’t difficult.
However, among humans, there were those whose power wasn’t human-like.
‘You need to be careful. Even if you’re going to ascend to heaven, dealing with such a human would be dangerous for you.’
He was warned like that, but he was in a crisis.
Unlike himself, who reached the pinnacle of spiritual energy, the young white tiger lacked strength and experience.
The moment he was in a hurry to help him, something unexpected happened.
Suddenly, an unknown middle-aged man with shocked eyes appeared and slaughtered the group of people surrounding the white tiger cub.
The group of people looked like martial artists, yet they were helpless.
‘Did he kill them because he covets the core?’
For some reason, the man looked dangerous.
Even he, who reached the peak of spiritual energy, could sense that.
He moved there in haste,
[How dare you damn bastards aim for the divine guardian deity of Mt. Baekdu. From now on, anyone who even steps one foot into the mountain will be killed.]
It was his first time meeting that man.
Contrary to his expectations that the man was aiming for the core, the man went somewhere in the mountain after annihilating the enemies.
‘What was that? What was that guy?’
A weird one.
Throughout the hundreds of years that he lived, it was his first time meeting such a man.
Curiosity began to rise in him.
Often some martial artists cultivated in Changbai Mountain.
And the man settled too and began to polish his martial arts.
‘Is he here to practice?’
He was stronger than any human he had ever seen, so he decided to watch and observe him.
If that man made up his mind, then the White Tiger cub would be in danger.
And the man was special.
[He didn’t want them to enter?]
He expelled or killed the men who tried to enter the mountain.
In particular, he seemed to hate the martial artists from the north. There was no mercy for them.
The only survivors were the ones who came from the peninsula.
‘Such a strange guy.’
It was as if the man was trying to cover up a murder.
He decided to sit and see how long the man would stay like that.
Five years passed.
Strangely, he repeated only training and chasing out intruders for all five years.
In the meantime, the White Tiger cub was saved several times.
But still, he didn’t want to trust a human, so he was just watching the man until he ascended.
But one day, the man spoke to him.
[Ahh. There is the tiger. Hasn’t it been a while since we ate together? I’m bored. Let’s have a drink together.]
He was a good-natured man.
‘… what is he planning?’
Although he watched him for many years, it was the first time the man spoke to him.
Even though he deliberately pretended to not notice him, the man talked.
After about a month, he began to love the silly jokes of the man who drank alcohol.
The man said that he previously served as a military officer in the southern peninsula.
Just the talk of the man’s military days could pass the time while they drank alcohol.
[I told my king later. We need to beat those cheeky bastards to death and restore the glory of the old predecessor. But the King didn’t listen to me. I was pretty frustrated as he fell for the words of those whose heads were full of shit.]
That made the White Tiger feel like the man wasn’t different from any other human.
Still, he enjoyed it.
Living for hundreds of years, this was fun.
[Wah? I must have gone crazy! Divine Spirit. So you're saying you can transform into a human? Wah.]
The man even got the honor of seeing the White Tiger use his ability for the first time.
What was more unusual was that even after seeing that ability, the man continued to joke around.
[Amazing. By any chance, hmm, can you turn into a woman? Ah… No? That’s a pity.]
The man had a variety of emotional changes.
He taught the White Tiger martial arts because it kept watching him train.
[I haven’t taught anyone outside of our family lineage, but there is nothing about not teaching an animal. Hehehe.]
The man was excited and then taught the White Tiger.
The White Tiger learned because he was interested in the experiences he was getting for the first time.
At first, it was just a pastime for the White Tiger, but with the variety of things being taught, he learned them all.
The man even talked about some interesting methods.
While learning one thing, something interesting happened.
[This is very special. Wait. There is an energy circle in your chest, but I never thought that you would have another energy circle in your Dantian too.]
Such a strange thing.
Even the White Tiger never thought that a new core would be created.
If the original core had formed with the passage of time, the new core came from the training.
Thanks to that, the White Tiger was excited as he kept on practicing new things constantly.
‘The human bastard. Does he have no friends?’
At some point, the White Tiger began to talk in a tone and language similar to the man.
Despite turning into a human, he never learned how to speak, but spending time with the man allowed him to grasp a few words.
[Why don’t you have a close friend?]
The man who was always alone brought a human into the mountain.
They were talking with each other.
The man he brought in was someone called Ark Wui, who was just as strong as the human.
He said that Ark Wui was the only friend he had in the Jianghu region, and he turned out to be a better person than the White Tiger had thought.
Like the man, he didn’t covet the core of the spirit beast either.
[Because you hate humans, you began to get close with the spirit beast? Sa-kyung. Hahaha!]
This new man, who was full of spirit called Ark Wui, was also a good one.
Somehow, the White Tiger came to be with the two humans and had the most enjoyable time of his life.
‘Before I ascend, heaven gave me a gift. Right.’
He regarded it as a gift from heaven.
However, the fact that their friendship grew was true.
The White Tiger just hoped that the happiness and joy wouldn’t vanish until he reached heaven. But the worst happened.
As a spirit beast that accumulated spiritual energy for a long time, it reached its time.
The man congratulated him and said that he felt sad that his old friend was leaving.
[If there is a meeting, there is also a parting. Right. Goodbye, my friend. I will train hard in the future and come for you, so don’t act all arrogant because you went first.]
The White Tiger wanted to ascend in a good mood.
However, right when he was about to move, unknown sinister energy broke into the mountain.
Someone with tremendous energy, as if he were a spirit beast who was also ready to ascend to heaven like the White Tiger, yet, the White Tiger felt danger from the presence.
[Don’t worry, you go ahead and ascend. I’ll go and take care of it.]
‘This is different. Something so creepy and dangerous might be out there.’
[Hahahah, my best friend. Before coming here, I was called the best warrior in Goryeo. What would dare to fight me? Haha.]
Showing confidence, the man set off towards the ominous energy.
The real definition of a cool guy.
Just by listening to his words, the White Tiger’s anxiety disappeared.
This time, he hoped that he would get the task done.
But everything turned out wrong.
As he was concentrating on ascending, he felt the energy of the man weaken.
As if that wasn’t enough, he heard the wailing of the next White Tiger.
The sound of a painful death.
No matter how hard he tried to focus on ascending, the two things he noticed made it difficult.
In the end, he couldn’t concentrate anymore and headed to the place in the mountain.
An unidentified man was pulling out the core of the new White Tiger.
The guy who pulled out the core of the young white tiger didn’t even have a single emotion on his face.
He was such a monstrous person that he couldn’t be considered human in any way.
[This is fun. You turned into a human?]
With those words, the man was about to approach the White Tiger with his blue sword.
[Cough… cough… run, run away… this… man… is … a monster…]
His friend, who had collapsed with his arms cut off, coughed blood and shouted before he closed his eyes as if he died.
When he saw that, the White Tiger lost his mind.
The idea of ascending left his mind completely.
Hatred began to consume him.
He fought with the monster-like man who held a sword.
After colliding several times, he transformed into his natural form to kill him.
After that, he remembered nothing.
The hatred and lust for destruction consumed him.
By the time he came to his senses, the peaks surrounding Changbai Mountain were all destroyed and in ruin.
One by one, the fists which came at him were strong enough to bring him back to reality.
If it wasn’t for Ark Wui, his other friend, the White Tiger would have run amok.
[He’s dying. Without even listening to him, do you want to destroy the world?]
The young white tiger was dead.
However, Sa-kyung was on the verge of death, gasping for breath.
[Cough… cough… I thought today… was a good day… but, it doesn’t seem like that. Haha… I wanted to see you ascend… with my own eyes… but you lost it because of me. Cough… cough.]
‘No! If you take my blood, you might live.’
The White Tiger bit his arm and let his blood run down the lips of Sa-kyung.
He never did it before, but he knew from the words of the Wulin people that his blood had the power to regenerate anything.
However, both his arms were cut off, and even his dantian was broken.
Sa-kyung’s veins stood up as if they were about to burst.
On the contrary, if he was in top condition, he would have been fine, but now his state was horrible.
‘It shouldn’t be like this. This can’t be…’
He didn’t want to see his friend in pain.
But death was approaching, yet the man spoke without resentment.
[Cough…I… I had something wonderful before I left… right, if… if it wasn’t for that bastard… today would have been… a good day.]
‘No. Sa-kyung. Sa-kyung. You shouldn’t die here.’
Even Ark Wui shed tears.
Seeing him dying, hatred and anger started flowing again.
He wanted to catch that bastard and tear him apart piece by piece until there was nothing left.
[… I… have a request.]
‘What is it?’
“Cough… cough… please… you. You don’t need to give up on your dream for revenge. Got it?”
‘No… don’t say things like that.’
[Cough… cough… you are quite… stubborn. Hehe. Ark Wui. This friend of mine… cough… stop him. Don’t… cough… let him… do… anything.]
He made a request to Ark Wui.
He accepted the request, but he was too concerned that the monster would return.
It was natural to be concerned because he was the monster who killed his friend and ran away.
‘Do you think I can’t kill that bastard!’
[… my best friend for a long… time… cough. You’ve been building yourself… for your dream. Leave those… for Ark Wui… and…]
Sa-kyung’s eyes lost focus and became blurry.
And his body turned cold as if his soul separated from it.
“Sa-kyung! Sa-kyung! Wake up! Does it make sense that you, the strongest in the world, are defeated by someone and die?!”
Ark Wui grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him, but to no avail.
A lost soul couldn’t be trapped.
“I want to talk more with you… to see your face… why…”
Before he could even finish speaking, the man died.
He pretended to be calm for the sake of his living friends, but his body was trembling, and he was afraid of dying.
When the strength in his hands was lost, the world the White Tiger knew shattered
He wanted to get his revenge on the man.
It didn’t matter if the opponent was a monster or not.
His hunger would only be relieved if that person could be found and killed.
[Are you going to betray your friend’s last wish for revenge?]
His hatred and anger was suppressed by Ark Wui.
Their friend prayed that the White Tiger wouldn’t be bound by revenge and ascend.
It was because he knew the wish of the White Tiger, who had spent all its life for that.
However, once hatred took hold, the spirit beast got eroded by the devil.
And it would never ascend without purifying.
Ark Wui said that he would remain and help purify the spirit beast.
‘Move! If you keep blocking me, I’ll kill you too!’
[… I will handle your wrath. If I fail to handle you, you can do whatever you want.]
‘Handle my wrath?’
Like that, Ark Wui confronted him every ten years and helped him release his anger, but the White Tiger was different from humans.
Humans tend to forget things and erase painful memories.
However, for a spirit beast, even after hundreds of years, memories couldn’t be erased.
The hatred grew, and he wanted to kill everyone and everything in Jianghu.
‘They stole everything.’
He slaughtered everyone who came to the mountain.
He hated them.
Since the blood didn’t stop flowing, instead of being purified, the ill intent only grew.
And today, the traces of that monster were felt again.
These men had something to do with that monster.
‘Maybe the spirit of Sa-kyung is helping me. Today, I’ll erase those bastards from the world.’
The men in front of him were nothing but enemies, and he had no intention of holding himself back for the sake of the oath.
He wanted to kill them all, leaving no one behind.
But his wish was about to disappear.
He had surrendered himself to hatred, and a sharp slash on his neck was felt.
He looked at the wind and rain with a bitter expression, he couldn’t tell if he was crying or if the rain was falling.
The man who hit him had something in his hand.
The only thing left behind by his dead friend.
And the other friend who vowed to never use a weapon for the rest of his life swung it at him.
And the target of the sword was the White Tiger’s neck.
As his head got cut off, his mind thought of only one thing.
‘Maybe… this… is… for the… best…’
The rain and the wind in the dark clouds made everything look sad.
As the giant head of the black tiger got cut off, the strong typhoon gradually weakened.
Ark Wui mumbled bitterly at the death of the tiger while holding the sword in hand.
“I will carry all your hatred. You will meet our friend in the afterlife and in the not-too-distant future, I will come there too, so let’s have a drink like the old days.”
He looked up, but the rain didn’t stop. Blazing black flames drew in the air drawing numerous trajectories.
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